How do I use a Credit Card Chip Reader?

  • Swipe card
  • Tell cashier "it didn't work" in a pissy tone
  • Swipe card again before cashier has a chance to answer
  • Stare at screen that says "Insert card"
  • Say "I guess I'm supposed to insert my card now?" but do it in an over-the-top way that seems like you're insulted
  • Insert card
  • Complain to cashier about how confusing this is
  • Complain to cashier about how frustrated you are
  • Remove card before it is done processing order
  • Reinsert card as though this is another step and not just correcting your mistake
  • Complain to cashier about how confusing this is
  • Act shocked that you still need to sign a receipt after all of this while saying something like, "next you'll need a DNA test!"
  • Remove card, begin leaving, but turn around at last second
  • Complain to cashier about how confusing this is

Who is to blame for Credit Card Chip Readers?

The cashier in front of you at the grocery store. All blame should be placed squarely on their minimum wage earning shoulders. Feel free to dump all your frustration at will, lecturing them at length about how this inconveniences your busy day. They are the ones who are disrupting you from buying mostly worthless clutter. Tell them about how it used to be and contrast with this new worse system. Make sure that everyone else in line understands how this technology lags behind your desire for immediate transactions. Threaten to write a personal check. Groan. Conjure up some real rage. Think No Man's Sky preorders! Think Donald Trump denying his support for the war in Iraq! If the customer in front of you has already complained, feel free to repeat their complaints. Groan again. You deserve the best, and this poor soul needs to hear it.

How do I know if a business is accepting a Chip Reader or swipes?

While some stores will have haphazard cardboard flaps taped over whichever source they do not want, the only way to know for sure is to randomly jam your card wherever you want. Don't ask, don't try to piece together context clues. Just do it and then wave your card around as though you're dealing with alien technology. More than likely, they will only accept the opposite of whichever you selected. They do this to frustrate you.

Why does a Credit Card Chip Reader take so long?

The time a chip reader takes to process your purchase is the inverse of the price of your purchase. So, upon buying a pack of gum for 89 cents, you should be waiting just long enough to regret buying anything. Use this additional time to really vent your frustrations.

What do Credit Card Chip Readers really do?

The banks claim that something very complex is happening, but no way is it as complex as trying to remember which side goes into the machine. Do you hold onto that dumb silver lump on the card or is that what the computer needs? If these banks are too big to fail then why can't they make this voodoo process easier?! Be sure to tell the cashier all of this.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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